EAST ORANGE, NJ — Elmwood Park is currently undergoing a $2.5 million renovation project that will bring the city of East Orange with its first outdoor fitness circuit area, city officials announced.
East Orange Mayor Lester E. Taylor III, the East Orange City Council and the East Orange Open Space Committee recently broke ground on the Elmwood Park Multi-Sport Court Rehabilitation Project, which will feature five tennis courts, two handball courts and the city’s first outdoor full circuit fitness area.
The construction project, which is funded with support from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Acres and East Orange Open Space, will include the addition of the fitness circuit area, which can be used by all ages at varying levels of intensity. Some of the equipment such as a hand cycle, chest press and lat pull down are ADA-accessible. Other equipment, such as the elliptical and recumbent cycle, are for advanced usage.
“Research has shown that being outdoors in a natural environment can help motivate people to exercise. Our green open spaces are meant to be enjoyed by people of all ages and at all levels of intensity,” said Taylor. “We are extremely excited to bring another opportunity for our residents to stay fit and healthy.”
The restoration of the courts looks to reclaim the glory years of 1975-1984, commonly known as the Golden Era of Tennis in East Orange. Then, the United States Tennis Association and the American Tennis Association hosted tournaments in East Orange featuring many tennis greats, including famed tennis pioneer and former East Orange resident and Recreation Director Althea Gibson.
In September 2016, construction was completed on Soverel Park tennis courts, which had been closed for several years, due to extensive damage following Hurricane Sandy. Construction in Elmwood Park is expected to be completed in late fall.